Monday, February 18, 2013

Lamb Chops with Cherry-Wine Sauce + Couscous Salad + Wine-braised Carrots

Lamb Chops with Cherry-Wine Sauce + Couscous Salad + Wine-braised Carrots
by Rachael Tanis
Cherry-Wine Sauce adapted from: Pike Place Market Cookbook
The Wine Dive recommends Simply Naked Cabernet Sauvignon to be paired with this dish.

1 bottle (750 milliliter) red wine, such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup dried cherries
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
pinch of granulated sugar

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 lamb chops
salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup Israeli or Pearl couscous
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bunch baby spinach
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
pinch of salt
crumbled feta cheese

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds carrots, peeled and greens trimmed to short stem
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup red wine
salt and pepper, to taste

Lamb Chops with Cherry-Wine Sauce:
Pour the wine into a large nonreactive saucepan and add the dried cherries. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half and the cherries lose their wrinkles and become plump.
Remove from the heat, add the butter and sugar and swirl until blended.

Heat the oil in a pan. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Add the lamb chops to the pan and cook until they reach desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Couscous Salad:
In a saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the couscous over medium heat until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep warm. 

In a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the cherries and oregano. Saute until well mixed and fragrant. Add the spinach and cook until slightly wilted, then add the pine nuts. Use a fork to fluff the cooked couscous and mix it with the spinach mixture. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle the feta cheese on top.

Wine-braised Carrots:
In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add the butter and let melt. Add the carrots and onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and add enough water to barely cover the carrots. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Cook the carrots for 10 minutes, or until nearly tender. Uncover and boil off all the liquid, so the carrots are coated in a light glaze. Add salt and pepper as desired.

To serve: 
Place a heaping pile of Couscous Salad in the middle of a plate. Rest a lamb chop on both sides of the pile. Spoon Cherry-Wine Sauce onto the lamb chops. Place Wine-braised Carrots to the side.

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